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Opposition MPs Clash Over Shs26bn For Purchase of Tractors

Muwanga Kivumbi

A section of Opposition MPs  have clashed over the proposal to stay the allocation of Shs26bn to purchase tractors until a criteria is established on who should benefit from the tractors meant to boost agriculture mechanization. This is after complaints that the tractors are only benefiting regime supporters.

While presenting the minority report on the 2023/2024 national budget, Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala County) lashed out at the proposal to locate Shs26bn for the purchase of tractors, saying Government should instead prioritize rural electrification.

“Money has been allocated of Shs26bn for purchase of tractors. We have constantly been making a case that where is the rationale for these tractors, who gets them and if you are taking away money for electricity. Let us first provide electricity for our people. We are saying that we stay this project because we have been funding this project for the last three or 4years and the tractors are nowhere to be seen,” he said.

However, his proposal was rejected by Abed Bwanika (Kimanya Kobonero) who warned that such a move will drag Uganda’s mechanization drive further behind compared to its East African counterparts.

“I have heard from the minority report, they are talking about tractors, Uganda has the lowest number of tractors per 100 square kilometers, 5tractors per 100 square kilometer compared to Kenya which has 25. How can we come on the floor and say we remove tractors, tractors which are going to help us mechanise. I want to pray that we maintain tractors, the MPs who didn’t receive tractors the other time, they will receive this time,” he said.

In the 2023/2024 national budget, the agriculture sector has been allocated Shs1.787Trn, accounting for 3.39% of the national budget, an appropriation players in the industry argue is too little for a sector that employs over 70% of the population.

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